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How to Get a New Mexico Business License

4-minute read

A man and woman stand in a greenhouse, looking over info on an iPad.
Allison Grinberg-Funes

Allison Grinberg-Funes

3 December 2021

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Setting your business up for success can feel like a daunting task. I remember starting out, thinking, "Where do I even start?"

Starting by laying a solid foundation and building from the ground up seemed like a manageable way for me to consider the steps I needed to take, but I'll admit that when it came to licensing my business, I didn't know where my starting point was. We don't want you to waste any time getting started! In this article, we'll cover the basics you need to know about how to get a New Mexico business license.

That way you'll know whether or not you need a business license in New Mexico, how to apply for one, how business insurance is connected, and more.

Ready to dig in? Read on!

Is a Business License Required in NM?

There is no general New Mexico state business license. However, many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. So definitely check the websites of the town or city your business is located in!

The state, however, may require you to get a New Mexico professional license, which is an entirely different type of license. If you think this may apply to you, we cover it later in the article.

After researching your local laws on business licenses, you may find that you don't need a business license. However, we still suggest you consider applying for a license. The benefits of having a business license are many! A New Mexico business license can help you:

  • Gain the trust of potential customers
  • Fulfill requirements of vendors, landlords, etc.
  • Seem more favorable when applying for loans, grants, or financial assistance
  • And more!

If this is motivating you, read on to learn how to apply, pay for, and get your business license.

How Do I Get a Business License in New Mexico?

1. Create a New Mexico online account.

Every business owner in New Mexico applying for a business license must create an online account. While it isn't usually necessary immediately, it is required when filing annual reports, requesting a certificate of existence, etc., so we recommend getting it out of the way now.

You can download a PDF application and send it to the Secretary of State by mail at this address:

Office of New Mexico Secretary of State 325 Don Gasper, Suite 300 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Filing fees vary depending on your location and profession and can typically be paid by check or money order.

2. Get your Employee Identification Number (EIN).

Regardless of your profession or where your business is located, New Mexico requires that you have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for with the IRS.

Having an EIN is required regardless of what type of business entity you have — whether it's an LLC, partnership, sole proprietorship (with employees), or other type of entity. If you intend to have a sole proprietor and you currently have no employees, we still suggest applying for an EIN, because you never know what the future may hold!

3. Apply for a CRS Identification Number.

Every business operating in the state of New Mexico is required to apply for a Combined Reporting System (CRS) Identification Number from the Taxation Revenue office, which is used to help pay and report taxes on gross receipts from conducting business in the state.

You can apply for your CRS Identification Number in person at a local tax office or online. Either way you decide to apply, there is typically no cost to you.

You'll file differently, depending on your entity. You can pay by check or money order to the Secretary of State. If you are moving your business from another state, you'll likely need a certification of good standing from the state where you originally registered.

4. Check your local municipality's requirements.

While there is no general business license in the state of New Mexico , each city has different laws regarding how businesses become official and operate. After completing the above, check with your local municipality to learn what the local requirements are.

Here are the links for how to get a business license in the:

You will likely need to reference the CRS identification number you registered while applying for any local permits or zoning ordinances.

5. Check to see if you'll need a professional license.

We mentioned earlier that you also may need to get a professional license. The state of New Mexico considers professional licenses to be separate from business licenses, and whether or not you need to apply for one depends entirely on what you do.

You can find out if your profession requires a license by following the links here.

How Much Does a Business License in New Mexico Cost?

When you think about getting a New Mexico business license, it makes sense that one of the first things that comes to mind may be, "How much will it cost me?"

How much it costs to register your business and get your professional and business New Mexico licenses vary and depend on your specific profession and the local municipality your business is located in.

Fees can begin as low as $35 for registration, but additional fees may be required if you, for example, operate a specific type of business, such as a nonprofit organization in Albuquerque or a home-based occupation business in Rio Rancho.

How Do I Start a Small Business in New Mexico?

All corporations, LLCs, and partnerships must first register with the Secretary of State. You can register LLCs online; however, partnership and corporation registration forms must be completed and submitted via mail or in person. Unsure which business type is best for you? Don’t sweat it. Visit the Small Business Administration’s website to learn more.

We also have a helpful article on choosing between an LLC and a sole proprietorship.

New Mexico Business License + Insurance Requirements

Having a New Mexico business license can help ensure trust from customers and vendors, but what else can you do to help their peace of mind?

We suggest considering business insurance. Taking time to shop for business insurance in New Mexico while applying for your business license could have great benefits for you down the road. Business insurance coverage can help:

  • Protect you in lawsuits regarding third-party accidents, personal injury, property damage, and more
  • Fulfill landlord or vendor requirements
  • Put potential customers at ease by demonstrating that you take their protection seriously
  • Protect both your personal and business finances against lawsuits
  • Secure loans, grants, or other financial funding

If you are curious about what business insurance coverage may cost in New Mexico, you can compare rates from top insurers using our free quote comparison tool.

Applying for an NM Business License?

You may need to show proof of business insurance to get your license.

That’s where we come in. Compare free insurance quotes for policies as low as $22.50/month.*

Start Here >

A New Mexico Business License Sets You Off on the Right Foot

I've said it before and I'll reiterate it here: starting your business can be tricky and overwhelming, but in this case, the good news is that you have a pathway forward. Applying for a New Mexico business license is a great way to become official and set your business up for success. It's no small feat, and you should be proud of yourself — this is just the beginning of a great journey!

* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January - December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.

Allison Grinberg-Funes

Written by

Allison Grinberg-Funes

I’ve told stories since I learned to talk and written since I could hold a pen. As a small business owner myself - I'm a freelance writer and yoga teacher - I love contributing to the entrepreneurship community in different ways (including writing for Simply Business!). When I’m not drafting articles for SB, I can be found on my yoga mat, perusing an indie bookstore, and writing (with my cat nearby of course).

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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